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Getting Back to Full Enrollment

So your Head Start Agency has received an Underenrollment Letter. Now what? The Office of Head Start (OHS) first announced its Full Enrollment Initiative in June 2018. In its announcement, OHS emphasized that full enrollment is the law. Section 642(g) of the Head Start Act states that “each Head Start agency shall enroll 100 percent…

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Families that are Categorically Eligible to Enroll in Head Start

head start categorical eligibility

A month ago, Head Start released a memo stating that families receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are now categorically eligible for Head Start. What that means is that if families can provide documentation of their eligibility for SNAP benefits, they are automatically eligible to be enrolled in Head Start. They do not need…

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Is your ERSEA strategy ready for post-COVID?

Whether we like it or not, some parents will always consider Head Start free babysitting. We can educate parents on the history of Head Start, talk about its focus on the whole child, and espouse its many other benefits. But no matter what, there will always be some parents who are just looking for an…

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Marketing Strategies to Assist with Full Enrollment

In June, OHS released a program instruction to remind designees about the requirement to maintain full enrollment for the upcoming school year. “This Program Instruction (PI) reiterates the importance of full enrollment. It also outlines the authority of OHS to designate an agency as Chronically Underenrolled and recapture, withhold, or reduce the base grant for…

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Head Start Can Provide Structure and Consistency for New Immigrant Families

In 1977, Head Start began its first bilingual and bicultural programs. 40 years later, Head Start continues to build productive relationships with families by respecting and responding appropriately to the culture, language, values, and family structures of each family they work with. In fact, it’s a requirement. Immigration as a policy matter has been a…

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Concerns and Strategies on Attaining Full Enrollment

It’s been two months since the Office of Head Start announced the full enrollment initiative, detailing its plans to reach a goal of 100% enrollment nationally throughout the program. Since then, it’s been top of mind for everyone attending our on-site trainings and conference workshops. We’d like to share some of the concerns we’re hearing…

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Serving Homeless Children in Head Start

Children in temporary housing (often combined into one group using the catch-all term “homeless”) are one of the most difficult to serve populations for early childhood education programs.  According to a document by the New York State Technical and Education Assistance Center for Homeless Students (NYS-TEACHS), children in temporary housing are half as likely to…

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OHS Announces Full Enrollment Initiative

Last week, Office of Head Start (OHS) issued a program instruction on its website called the “Full Enrollment Initiative.” In it, OHS details its plans to ensure that each Head Start designee “enroll 100 percent of its funded enrollment and maintain active waiting lists at all times with ongoing outreach to the community and activities…

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ERSEA Cheat Sheet: Improving Head Start Attendance

In our final installment of the ERSEA Cheat Sheet series, we will talk about Attendance. Attendance is an ongoing activity, requiring regular monitoring and an all hands on deck mentality. As with all of the steps of ERSEA, the important part is to have a plan. How will you encourage regular attendance? And how will…

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ERSEA Cheat Sheet: Smoothing the Enrollment Process

Do you find that enrolling a child in Head Start takes a lot of work? Here are some ways that you can make the process smoother in you program. Have a good waiting list Having a good waiting list is the first step, so when a child leaves unexpectedly, you have a few children ready…

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